A thrilling second day of the World Para Swimming World Series in Indianapolis, USA, saw world and Americas records tumble, highlighted by a stunning performance from Italy’s Simone Barlaam.
The double world champion set a new world record in the men’s 50m freestyle S9 on his way to winning gold ahead of Mexico’s Diego Lopez Diaz in second, and Brazil’s Andre Brasil in third.
Barlaam’s record time of 31.46 saw him add gold to his 100m backstroke bronze, and the Italian is hungry for more.
“It feels really good. I’m happy I broke this world record. It’s been a few good days here in Indianapolis,” he said. “Tomorrow is the last day, and I have my fingers crossed, let’s see what happens.”
It was not only Barlaam celebrating new bests in the pool on Friday. The USA’s six-time Paralympic medallist Rebecca Meyers broke not one, but two Americas records in the women’s 50m freestyle S12 and 100m breaststroke SB12.
It is a strong start to the year for Meyers, who was named USA’s Para Swimmer Of 2018.
“Training has been going well. I’ve been working on a lot of sprinting, so I was excited to be able to execute that today,” she said.
“I’m really pleased with both of my times. I’ve been eyeing those records, so that was very exciting. It’s nice to set goals for yourself and it’s nice to hit those goals.”
It was another hugely successful day for Team USA, who picked up another 12 medals and two podium sweeps on Friday.
Martha Ruether, Gia Pergolini and Colleen Young claimed the top three spots for the multi-class women’s 50m breaststroke. Young followed that up with gold in the multi-class 100m breaststroke, followed by Hungary’s Evelin Szaraz and Fanni Illes.
McKenzie Coan won her second gold medal in the multi-class women’s 400m freestyle. MeiMei White and Ahalya Lettenberger won silver and bronze behind Coan.
Leanne Smith then rounded it off for the US women with gold in the women’s 50m breaststroke SB3.
On the men’s side there were golds for Zachary Shattuck (100m breaststroke) and Robert Griswold (400m freestyle).
Mexico was another nation to enjoy multiple podium finishes on day two, collecting six medals.
Juan Jose Gutierrez Bermudez set a new Americas record in the men’s 400m freestyle S6 with a time of 5:13.00. The 17-year old picked up his second medal, earning silver in the multi-class event behind Griswold, while Pedro Rangel earned his first medal, taking silver behind Shattuck.
Mexico then swept the podium in the men’s multi-class 50m breaststroke. Gustavo Sanchez Martinez collected his second medal in Indianapolis with a silver and was joined on the podium by his fellow countrymen, with Cristopher Tronco winning bronze and Arnulfo Castorena winning gold.
China’s Zheng Tingting set the Asian record in the women’s 400m S8 freestyle. The 16-year old set the record in the preliminaries and then broke it again in the final to log a new best time of 5:29.33.
The third and final day of the 2019 Indianapolis World Series at the Indiana University Natatorium will feature individual medley, backstroke and butterfly events, with live results available online.